Unwrapping Your Gifts

William Burkert, ST and Loughlan Sofield, ST
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, Vol. 7, # 2, p. 43

The gifts of each and every member of Christ’s body are being called forth. Yet there is resistance within many persons to discovering and taking responsibility for their gifts.

The first step in assisting people to identify their gifts is to help them become aware of the obstacles that are blocking them from acknowledging and developing their gifts.

Five common reasons for avoiding an appreciation of one’s giftedness are:

  1. False humility. Many have been brainwashed into avoiding praise of our good qualities and abilities. Thus, many deny their gifts…Humility is truth. All persons, beginning in childhood, should be taught to understand that God has blessed them in unique ways and taught to praise and thank God for his goodness.

  2. We believe a gift needs to be spectacular and unique. With such an expectation, we often overlook ordinary gifts, i.e., listening, evoking laughter and mirth, making people feel welcomed or at ease. While looking for the sparkle and pizzazz of spectacular talents, we ignore our simple gifts that enrich human life.

  3. Assuming that if one has a specific gift, everyone else must have it too.

  4. Envying other people is a block to seeing one’s own giftedness. More time is spent wanting what others have than in appreciating and using the gifts one has received.

  5. The final deterrent is rooted in the many fears that surface when we are challenged to discover our giftedness. The principal fear is that if we acknowledge certain gifts, someone will challenge us to use them. Another fear is of becoming over-committed and overwhelmed.